About the Project

Future through Memory is a study in the affordances of virtual reality and interactivity as a method of civic engagement, placemaking and placekeeping in Toronto’s Chinatown. The title “Future through Memory” hearkens back to Wendy Chun’s text, The Enduring, Ephemeral, or The Future is a Memory (2008). Using participatory action research as the central methodology, co-creation workshops were held with individuals within the Toronto Chinatown community to develop what Pierre Nora’s describes les lieux de mémoire (site of memory) in “Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire” (1998) within an interactive documentary using WebVR (A-Frame). This study explores the use of personal memory, oral testimony, transmedia storytelling and 3D photogrammetric scans as a method to highlight the agency of participants within the community, the diaspora experience and discussions of identity. This project takes a decolonial theoretical framework and is centred on developing a collective memory — “collective, plural, yet individual” (Nora, 1989), questioning traditional structures of historical representation within virtual reality.

This interactive documentary is the outcome of the first series of workshops with the Toronto Chinatown community. The first series of workshops was held from October 21, 2020 until December 2, 2020 and spread over seven weeks and covered an introduction to photogrammetry and interactive documentary. Participants within the workshops are also active co-creators to the space and the creation of their own site of memory (‘memory space’).

記憶構築未來是一個通過使用虛擬現實技術的可供性和互動性來集中體現多倫多唐人街的公民參與,場所營造以及場所管理。標題“記憶構築未來”與Wendy Chun所著 The Enduring, Ephemeral, or The Future is a Memory (2008) 產生共鳴。本互動檔案項目在WebVR(A-Frame)的框架中,使用了參與式行動研究法作為方法論,同時使用了針對多倫多唐人街社群的一對一共同創作型研討會來展現Pierre Nora在“Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire” (1998) 中所描述的les lieux de mémoire (記憶的場所)。本課題探索了對個人記憶,口述歷史,跨媒體故事講述以及3D 攝影製圖掃描技術的使用,並且通過它們來強調社群參與,移居經歷和身份討論。本項目採用了反殖民理論框架,並集中於建立一個“集體的,多樣的,個人的”(Nora, 1989)共同的記憶,在虛擬現實空間裏對傳統架構的歷史展示提出質問。

本互動式檔案是一系列發生在多倫多唐人街社群研討會的成果。第一期研討會由2020年10月21日開始直到2020年12月2日結束,這七週的時間裏,囊括了對掃描製圖技術以及互動檔案的介紹。研討會參與者都是活躍地參與創作他們的記憶場所(記憶空間)的共同創作者。

If you have any questions about this project and future sessions, please contact info@futurethroughmemory.ca

This project was developed in the Digital Futures Masters program (MDes) at OCAD University. To learn more about this graduate thesis visit dfthesis.com

This project was developed with the support of the Might Pen Initiative Fund and the OCAD Graduate Studies Project Grant.

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